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Domestic violence is usually the first thing that comes to mind when abuse is mentioned. Abuse, however, is not limited to a person hitting, pushing and punching another adult or a child.

There are more subtle forms of abuse, which are just as damaging and can leave lasting effects that may take years to reverse. From verbal assaults to neglect, abuse is ugly.

Regardless of the packaging in which it is wrapped, the results are the same—alienation, disappointment, pain and heartache. Abuse among Christians is not often talked about, but it destroys lives and must be dealt with.

Manipulation and Control: Tools of Abuse
Manipulation and control are two forms of abuse that are equally as bad as physical abuse. Trying to control others involves attempting to twist another person's will so that it falls in line with what you want.

Manipulating people for your own selfish desire is wrong and contradicts God's commandment to love one another (John 15:12-17).

Unfortunately, some even use the Word of God in an attempt to control others. Any form of manipulation is abuse. God's Word was not given as a method of control. It was given to teach you how to love others.

Controlling people does not reflect the love of God, and contrary to what you may think, neither will it get you your desired results. It only causes strife and division while driving your loved ones further away from you.

It won't be long before their trust in you has dwindled because they can't locate your true motives—love or selfishness.

Men who feel the need to control others suffer from insecurity. They may not realize it, but their actions are a result of fear. The fear of losing control is evident by pride and an unwillingness to submit to the leadership of the Holy Spirit.

To grow into a man of love, you must make the Word of God the final authority in your life. In doing so, you will see that the only One Who should be in control is the Holy Spirit.

The Silent Stranger
Many hard-working men, though physically present in their households, are spiritually absent from their families' lives. Their relationships with their wives and children are almost non-existent even though they see each other every day.

Neglect can be just as bad as physical abuse because it leaves an emotional void in the lives of family members who then try to fill the void through other people, things, habits and activities.

Wives may seek the companionship of another man or begin looking to friends and family members to compensate for the lack of affection and attention they feel.

Children get the worst end of the relationship as they grow up emotionally needy. This also sets the stage for them to become involved in disastrous relationships as they get older.

Some men lose focus of their responsibility as the heads of their households and allow their careers to take over their lives. They become "married" to their jobs while their families take a backseat.

Consequently, the love and affection their families need falls by the wayside. Such behavior is an open door for the enemy to wreak havoc.

It is not uncommon for men to believe that because they are the primary breadwinners in their households, their families should be happy.

They fail to understand that being the provider is their responsibility—it's not a favor they do for their wives and children. Holding down a steady job does not automatically make a man a good husband and father.

While a man is supposed to provide for his family's material needs, he is also supposed to be a reflection of God's love. That means showering them with love and attention so they know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are loved.

It also means carving time out of your busy schedule to cultivate a relationship with each family member. No one said it was an easy job, but if you "signed up" for marriage and fatherhood, it's one of your God-ordained responsibilities.

Copyright © World Changers Ministries
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Creflo A. Dollar
Web site: World Changers Ministries
 
Creflo Dollar is the founder and senior pastor of World Changers Church International (WCCI) in College Park, Georgia; World Changers Church-New York; and a host of fellowship churches throughout the United States and internationally. WCCI also has offices in Australia (serving the Asia-Pacific region), South Africa, Canada, the United Kingdom, India, and the Ukraine.
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